Hear an artist’s perspective on migration and politics in Africa and how those themes play out in her work as an artist and a writer.
Ken Bugul is the pen name of acclaimed and influential Senegalese writer Mariètou Mbaye Biléoma. The pen name means “one who is unwanted” in the Wolof language, and Biléoma’s abandonment by her mother at an early age (about five) figures in her novels in themes of loss, search for identity, and self-mothering. She is one of the most renowned authors in Francophone African literatures and also one whose writings are the most disputed due to her controversial positions on social issues, with ten novels published to date. Her writing calls for a collective awareness of oppressed African people who can no longer vegetate in lethargy and feed on endless illusions.